Chapter 7

In the massive school assembly hall, the entire school was assembled for the welcoming ceremony.

Seating was done not by class but by noble rank.

Higher ranking nobility was seated at the front in luxury seats with waiting maids and butlers.

The further back you went, the less flashy the seats were, and at the very back stood the noble knights.

While the new noble knights looked in shock at the well-built assembly hall. The older knights were deep in thoughts.

Some thought of how best to end the year without any incidences.

Others thought of how best to acquire a partner before it was too late.

And some were deep in anger as they remembered the events from before.

Charley was one of them.

His fiancé, Catherin Pandaramn had brought her lover Zain and his childhood friend Susan to his room.

The three then had sex right in front of him.

When it all ended. Charley was forced to hand over the platinum coins he had earned selling information to the freshmen who had arrived.

“You made some bit of money today, haven’t you?” (Catherin Pandaramn)

“Ah…Just a little” (Charley Gardner)

“Hand it over” (Catherin Pandaramn)

“Eh!”

“I need to buy a gift for the princess and Sue needs new clothes. It’s a pain but…”

Charley couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had already paid her monthly payment of 12 platinum coins and now she wanted more.

Where was all that money going?

He turned towards Susan who was being called Sue which he concluded was a nickname as she was helping Catherin get dressed.

He must have stared a second too long at her naked body which he was seeing for the first time as he wondered whether this new addition into Catherin’s life would mean more trouble for him money-wise because…

“Oi Oi Oi…where the hell are you looking at!?” Zain shouted before landing a kick on the kneeling Charley.

Charley could have easily avoided or caught that kick, but doing that may result in an, even more, displeasing situation.

Thinking that he let the kick connect unhindered.

[Filthy beast…you dare look at my Sue with those filthy eyes] (Zain)

“There is no need for that Zain…It’s not like I will ever allow that dog to touch me.” (Catherin Pandaramn)

[I wasn’t thinking about you bitch…Don’t misunderstand my intentions. The only one I care about is Sue] (Zain)

These were Zain’s truthful thoughts but he couldn’t utter such words towards her.

“Even so. I felt jealous. I don’t want any man to lay his eyes on you” (Zain)

He uttered those words before giving a beautiful smile. Catherin was overcome with happiness as she heard those words.

[If you don’t want such a thing then don’t do it in my room dam it…](Charley Gardner)

Just remembering that made his head boil with rage.

[​IMG]

Just as he remembered those things a voice rang out across the hall.

“Please welcome, the representative of the first years. Her royal highness, Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia.” (Headmaster)

With golden thick long hair, a slim waist, c cup breast – an elegantly dressed young girl walked up on stage.

She had a standard school uniform on. An above-knee greyish skirt, white shoes paired with black pantyhose’s. A white shirt covered with a light reddish-brown jacket that had the academy crest on it.
Her blue eyes surveyed the students before her before she gave a gentle smile.

“Goddess”
“Beautiful”
“I am in love”
“Simplify amazing.”

Such compliments were echoing in the hall. They came from every direction but one.

[Those must be the noble knights!] (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

She senses the gloom or anger in many of their faces.

[If only the royal family had more power. Then…] (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

While all noble knights are aware that their current predicament was because of the marriage decree the royal family gave in the past what they didn’t know was that some decades after they had given up appealing the law, the royal family wished to remove the law.

However, there was opposition from lower nobles such as barons and viscounts who were greatly benefiting from it.

They bribed high-ranking nobility to block the law from being removed.

It pained her to admit it, but the royal family’s power was almost none existent.

Normally the royal faction would be lending its power to the royal household, but over the centuries the three of the five most powerful duke families have all but taken over the faction.

As it stood the royal family was nothing more than a figurehead.

History would mock the royal family for finding itself in this situation which would not have occurred had they not passed the marriage decree, which allowed lower ranked noble to amass large sums of money - which in turn they used to bribe higher-ranked nobility- which in turn made them more powerful than the royal family.

[There is no use thinking about that…](Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“My fellow students welcome to the royal academy. It’s an hour to have the privilege of studying alongside you all. As the future leaders of our great kingdom, I call upon you all to act in a manner that is befitting your status and to uphold the dignity of noblemen and women.” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

She gave an elegant speech that moved the crowd - well almost everyone in the crowd.

The noble knights showed no expressions apart from the ones they came in with. They didn’t have time for this silly little girl’s talk of nobility and dignity. As far as they were concerned those didn’t apply to them.

After a lengthy speech by the princess, the assembly was brought to a close.

The nobles went about forming connections with other nobles, as the noble knights went off to ROKUKEN.

The princess looked on as the knights went off from her room, high in the girls’ dormitory.

“Where are they going?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Hum…Perhaps they are going to the Labyrinth”

The person who spoke was her lady in waiting, Catherin Sealedge Collwood.

A third daughter of a Duke Collwood household. One of the two great duke houses that were still loyal to the royal family.

She had purple hair and brown eyes. Her lips were too a shade of red. She wore the same uniform as the princess except for the black pantyhose’s and white shoes – choosing to expose her long sexy legs with red shoes.

She had large 32 D cup breasts that attracted the attention of lustful men everywhere.

“Yep, that sounds about right. They all always go together this time of the year to do something called ROKUKEN”

The person who followed up Catherin’s answer with an explanation was the princess another lady in waiting. Helen Von Hillthorn.

A fourth daughter of a Duke Hillthorn household. The other house of great duke houses was still loyal to the royal family.

Between the three she was the most informed and second only in intelligence to Princess Teresa.
She had long light blue lack hair and bright green eyes. She had a slender body with C-cup breasts.
She wore the same uniform and style like the princess, except for choosing the common brown shoe instead.

“ROKUKEN?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“It’s how the noble knights pick a leader I am told. Every year as the rest of the noble form connections after the welcoming ceremony, the noble knights head off to the Labyrinth.

The highest earner among them becomes the leader for the year.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Hmm…Is that all you know about the matter?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“I heard that the last leader was a current second-year named Charley Gardner.” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Then is he likely to be the leader this year as well or…” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Very unlikely that he will be the leader this year.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Why do you say that?” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“While I am not 100% sure but it seems that first years are the ones who always inherit the role of leader but I don’t know the reason behind it. The only exception was someone called Noah Frederick who was a leader for three straight years.”

Because the leader of ROKUKEN had to folk over 80% of their earnings, many second years and third years tend to not aim to win at all. First years are trying to prove themselves would on the other hand go all out to win the ROKUKEN.

Charley Gardner never told Colin or his friends any of this as it was an unspoken rule to not tell the newcomers until after the ROKUKEN as a rite of passage.

However, in reality, they just wanted windfall in their expenses.

Colin’s father won the first ROKUKEN he took part in because of his skill. He was fortunate or unfortunate to have already made an agreement with Nina Maccabaeus in his first year at the academy, however many of the other noble knights did not.

During his second ROKUKEN despite having no reason to win if - he took it upon himself to do so and earn as much money as he could to help his fellow noble knights out.

The pride of a noble knight wouldn’t allow charity. He knew his friends and other noble knights would not accept him just giving them the money up front so he decided to win the ROKUKEN and give them through that.

He made the same decision in his third year as well.

Many noble knights were saved by the windfall his earning provided and till this day have a large amount of respect for him because of it.

“Is that so?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Why the sudden interest in noble knights Teresa? Don’t tell me you’re in love with one.” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“Don’t say things that will cause misunderstanding Catherin. Her highness knows better than to be involved in troublesome situations.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“I know, but then why?” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

Princess Teresa sighed before speaking, “Don’t you feel anything for the way noble knights are treated? As a member of the royal family, I can’t but help feel that it is my fault that they go through this.”
“Ah…but even if you say that there is nothing you can do.” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“I know” she answered just before the Labyrinth came into her view. “Helen, the noble knights make a majority of their money from the Labyrinth right?”

“Ah…yes, I believe so. Why?” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Our kingdom's most expensive export are rare materials from the labyrinth. Those materials usually come from hunting midrange monsters like orcs, ogres, ghouls, and Giant Serpents or Spiders. Are noble knights responsible for all that?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“That’s impossible. First of all noble knights don’t form parties…” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Huh! They don’t form parties! Why is that? I know from my brother that forming parties is the basics of adventuring in the Labyrinth.” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“That’s true. Well, at least until you reach floor 10, where the midrange monsters are found. Any floor before that is where the small fry monsters are found. You don’t need a party to explore those.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Does that mean that noble knights only explore floors 1 to 9?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)
“Probably” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Then where do they earn the money they spend on those gold diggers.” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Your highness! Please reframe from saying such things. What you were overheard. Please refer to them as noble ladies as should.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Come on Helen…you and I know there is nothing noble about them.” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)
“Even so, you must stop yourself from speaking your mind,” she replied with a sigh. “In regards to your earlier question. I just don’t know. Noble knights conduct no other business. The Labyrinth should be their only source of income.”

“Maybe they team up inside the Labyrinth and head into deeper floors” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“Hmm…that is a possibility” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Can’t we just check the records of the Labyrinth?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Such records do not exist your highness” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“Eh! Why?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“The management of Labyrinths across the world are handled by Labyrinth guilds, however, here in the Kingdom of Eleadia it is managed by the merchant’s guild and those greedy bastards don’t put as much effort into managing it.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Is that so?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“Yes. Apart from the receptionists, there are virtually no other staff members that work in the Labyrinth. They use a magic tool they bought from the northern continent to automatically process all the material explorers’ deliver and pay them.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Ah…you’re talking about that guild card they all carry. Brother told me about them. They wave their card over a monster they have killed and whoosh, it disappears and their credited based on the worth of the monster they have killed.” (Catherin Sealedge Collwood)

“Yes. The one the merchants purchased is a cheap version of the ‘transmission payment tool’. It cost less to buy and even less to maintain. Furthermore the fact that there are no records plays favorably with the merchants' hands.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“How so?” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“In situations where they a certain dispute may arise, the merchant’s general response would be, ‘sorry there is no record of us ever receiving that monster kill. As such we cannot pay you’” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“Ah…but won’t that make people not trust the merchant’s guild.” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

“The example I have given is extremely rare and is a result of the tool not working rather than the guild cheating the explorer out of their hard-earned money but nether-less it still means that there are no records of explorers activates in the Labyrinth.” (Helen Von Hillthorn)

“I see” (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

The princess stared on as the noble knights headed off to the Labyrinth.

[Can you make that amount of money fighting small fries?

No…it’s impossible. Everything is telling me it impossible but if that is the case then how are they making all that money?

And I have seen first hand the level of strength of our royal knights and kingdom knights, there is no way they are responsible for the vast amount of rare materials the merchants guild is always exporting to the north continent.

Something doesn't add up!

But I don't have time for this. As much as I feel sorry for the noble knights, I have troubles of my own.] (Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia)

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